I remember the day my oldest daughter started grade one. After two years of attending kindergarten for a few hours in the afternoon, she’d be at school most of the day.
I thought I was ready, but as I stood in the schoolyard I felt my eyes well up as she walked confidently into the school with the rest of her class. She was growing up, and she was ready for it, but our lives would never be quite the same.
Today we are driving her to university, where she’ll be starting another stage of her life. She is growing up, and she’s ready for it, but our lives will never be quite the same.
The hardest thing we do as parents is to prepare our children for a series of good-byes. Every time they move to a new stage of life, they become a little more independent and a little less reliant on us. That’s the way it should be, but that doesn’t make it any easier as we wave good-bye.
On Mother’s Day of this year, my daughter gave me an envelope to be opened after she left for university. After we wave goodbye to her this morning, I’ll open it and see what’s inside. I’ll also pull out some old photo albums and revisit some of our special memories, including that first day of grade one where she set off into a new world with confidence.